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Subject: pH and calcium reactor


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PH and calcium reactor

Let’s work through this article, and some questions may be clarified, such as: how to use the CD, so as not to ruin the reef, because such cases have occurred in the practice of marine aquarium.

One of my good friends, in the process of establishing his marine reef aquarium, strictly followed all the rules and axioms of this major event. A powerful skimmer was installed, approximately 1: 3, a calcium reactor, etc. and so on. Undoubtedly, both the skimmer and the Kyrgyz Republic are precisely those devices whose importance in the AI ​​is indisputable. Well, the one who knows how to work with them is a successful sailor, and this is also indisputable.
And yet, marine aquarium, it's like the weather at sea. It was just quiet and sunny, but suddenly, the sky darkened, a flurry came over, and there was no longer any philosophical reasoning, it would be faster to get to the shore, or you could get into some kind of trouble.

Everyone knows that in a calcium reactor, due to the presence of carbon dioxide, accelerated dissolution of calcium occurs, which then enters the aquarium water, saturating it with this important chemical element, thus contributing to the normal development of hard, and not only corals. However, this device may be the cause of their stress, and in some cases, even death. Everyone knows that, unfortunately, not all sailors have the opportunity to spend days near the aquarium, continuously monitoring its hydrochemistry parameters, taking urgent necessary measures, and it’s dangerous to rely on automation, especially with power outages, to put it mildly. if I may say so, just in time, for unpredictable consequences that concern not only KR. We all know that the cruising indicator of pH in a reef aquarium should be at the level of 8.3-8.5. Nevertheless, in a calcium reactor during his work, this indicator, even due to the dosed supply of CO2, can reach up to 5 and lower. And taking into account the fact that in the morning, as a rule, the pH level in the display is lower than usual, and its recovery time is uncertain, then a general drop in pH may occur, and for a long period, and this is dangerous for the normal life of invertebrates. And then the skimmer took the same calcium magnesium into oblivion, and we got something like this after testing the water: pH 5.3, Ca 220, Mg 800. Not to mention other trace elements, because the skimmer cannot separate e from unnecessary, therefore, what should have been in the display, it was imperative to be in the display, it was absolutely necessary to go into the sewer, while washing the foam collector. And when the sailor, having realized himself, begins to feverishly compensate for the losses, the picture becomes completely different from the one he was counting on, especially , the test results have not changed much, and a salvo increase in ME can lead to the rapid death of some sensitive species.

Last edited by Anatoly, 06/27/2017 at 11:50.

12 reef elements. Metals Calcium.

  • Added March 20, 2017

Calcium. The third most common, after sodium and magnesium, is a metal ion present in seawater. Calcium is included in the so-called group of elements of the "cornerstone" of any coral reef of the Earth, since carbonate salts thereof are the basis of skeletons of invertebrates and vertebrates of the oceans.

In the water of the oceans, Caᶧ² is present in ionic form. In seawater, calcium is in the range of concentrations of 360 (averaged) -440 (in the coastal waters of some coral reefs) mg / l. According to generally accepted theories, calcium is introduced into sea water in two ways: with river flows, up to 0.56 billion tons of calcium, leaching from igneous rocks at the bottom of the oceans and re-dissolving from the remains of living organisms at the bottom of the ocean at high pressures. In the process of evolution, the bulk of reef-forming organisms thrives with a concentration of calcium ions of 360-410 mg / l.
A deficit of calcium ions in seawater can have quite dramatic consequences: when the calcium concentration is below the threshold value of 320 mg / l (averaged value by several authors), the calcification process, and as a result, coral growth stops, immunity is weakened and reef degradation is observed. The first, as the most sensitive, begin to degrade first, and then the small-poly corals die.

The main role of calcium in the biology of marine animals.

Calcium regulates the growth and functioning of all types of living tissue cells. In almost all living organisms, calcium is the basic element of connective tissue (skeleton, cartilage). In the process of calcification, in combination with hydrocarbonate groups, calcium (as the leading element in the calcium-magnesium-strontium system) forms the skeleton of hard corals, mollusks, arthropods, and echinoderms. And it is precisely relatively high concentrations of calcium (over 320 mg / l) that are required for the smooth absorption of this element by invertebrate tissues.

In vertebrates, calcium plays a crucial role in the functioning of the immune system, being an integral part of the corresponding hormones and enzymes.

Nerve tissue. The transmission of nerve impulses of living organisms is carried out by neuron cells, the normal conductivity and functioning of which is associated exclusively with a lack of calcium.

Photosynthesis. Calcium is also required for plants, since it is involved in the regulatory process of the distribution of carbohydrates, the conversion of nitrogenous substances, and protein synthesis.

Muscle. Special contractile organelles of any muscle provide muscle contraction, which occurs when two main fibrillar proteins interact in them: myosin and actin, with the obligatory participation of calcium ions.

The relationship of photosynthesis and calcification.
Calcium carbonate, as the mineral aragonite, is the most common skeletal structure of aquatic invertebrates. It is formed in the calcification process, which can be primitively described as a combination of -CO3 bicarbonate ions with calcium ion Caᶧ². The skeleton of aragonite is possessed by corals, echinoderms, mollusks, ascidia and even the simplest unicellular organisms. The most characteristic manifestation in the form of a massive skeleton is observed precisely in calcareous algae (the genus Halimeda is most visible) and germatypous animals (corals, foraminifera, bivalves of the genus Tridacna), which contain symbiotic protozoan organisms, zooxanthellae, in their tissues. It is the processes of photosynthesis and respiration that contribute to the intensive accumulation of carbon dioxide, which greatly accelerates the calcification process. Of course, the alkalinity of water and its pH play an extremely important role, which is separately indicated in the article “Carbonates and Alkalinity of Sea Water”.

Calcium intake in a coral reef.

The main consumers in the coral reef, of course, are the corals themselves. But it is difficult to overestimate the role of echinoderms, mollusks, algae, whose calcium intake in natural conditions is up to 18% of the total.

Aquarium, depletion of calcium.
In a closed aquarium system, in a finite, limited volume of water, the processes of natural replenishment of elements are practically impossible to recreate for a number of reasons.
The main sources and factors that have the most significant effect on the depletion of an element are presented below.
Biogenic factors:

"Calcium" algae. Branching and cortical algae, primarily the coralline family, consisting of more than 55% by weight of calcium and magnesium carbonates

"Higher" algae. The most characteristic Halimeda are an extremely representative family, but other multicellular algae, such as the genus Caulerpa, the family Cladophoraceae (genus Chaetomorpha), the genus of algae Botryocladia, used for decorative purposes and in refugia also consume calcium, as well as magnesium.

Clams. All clans and families. The most active "sinks" of calcium are representatives of the class of bivalve mollusks: tridacna, lima, mussels, as well as spondyluses, which are gaining popularity. Of course, it should be noted that only representatives of the tridacus family can significantly absorb calcium from water directly, while the rest of the mollusk-filtering materials receive most of the building material from heterotrophic nutrition.

Echinoderms. The most powerful consumers of calcium in the reef are sea urchins, but calcium is mainly obtained from food, eating algae and fouling.

Madrepore corals. The most powerful consumer of calcium in the reef. The palm on the dynamics of the absorption of calcium from water rightfully belongs to representatives of the Acroporid family, the genus Montipora. Despite the rather fragile skeleton, these animals are considered the most rapidly growing captive corals. And it is precisely the growth rate that this genus owes its leadership, slightly inferior to the Aropora genera, and to the families Pocillopora and Agaric>. Massive colonies of representatives of Porites, Fungia, Acanthastrea and other stony corals contain a large amount of aragonite, but due to low growth rates in captivity, these animals are not able to absorb calcium in large quantities.
At the same time, some soft, “leathery” corals at significant growth rates are capable of absorbing calcium in very large quantities. We are talking about representatives of the families of Alcius: sarcophytons and sinuliae. Despite the apparent "fleshiness", the animals in their structure have a calcium skeleton, consisting of movably fixed and isolated aragonite spicules, comprising from 10 to 24% by weight of the entire animal.

Technogenic factors.
The deposition of calcium on the heating / cooling elements of the life support systems can reach significant values ​​with a large difference in room temperature and aquarium water.

A small amount of calcium is also excreted through protein skimmers and zeolite systems based on ion-exchange resins.

Home Sea Feature

The content of the inhabitants in sea and fresh water has significant differences. To create comfortable conditions in a tank with salt water, you need to put a lot of effort, patience and money.

Having made a decision on its arrangement, it is necessary to take into account the factors determining the possibility of a comfortable stay of the inhabitants in it. Among the most significant, the following can be distinguished:

  • lighting,
  • water circulation
  • the presence of oxygen in water,
  • hardness and salinity of the liquid.

To ensure the normal level of these indicators can not do without the availability of special equipment.

Metal Halogen

Power ranges from 250 to 500 watts. Due to this, light in the water column is perfectly scattered. One lamp is enough to organize the required level of illumination of a reservoir with a height of 80 cm.

When choosing the type of lamp, you need to consider the volume and height of the tank. Of no less importance is what inhabitants live in the aquarium.

Water circulation

The movement of water in the tank is extremely important for the normal life of invertebrates, algae, corals and other inhabitants who cannot survive without water circulation. Thanks to this process, food, oxygen, and the removal of toxic elements occur.

This process can be ensured through the use of a flow pump. According to the principle of functioning, they can be conditionally divided into such types:

  • With a constant stream. Provide uninterrupted water circulation.
  • Equipped with a control unit. They have the ability to control the fluid current strength, which leads to the formation of vortices.
  • With a wave system. Promotes the formation of waves, creating an attractive visual effect.

For an hour, the movement of water should be at least 3 parts of the volume of all water. The organization of comfortable living conditions for residents without the use of circulation pumps is impossible.


With its help, you can clean the water of the aquarium from a high content of phosphates and nitrates. The principle of its operation is that, passing through the scrubber pump, water flows down the surface of the filter on which the algae grows. As a result of the activity of algae, water is purified from the vital products of fish, nitrates and phosphates. Installing this equipment can improve coral development. and other aquatic organisms living in the pond.

Calcium reactor

Hard corals living in an aquarium consume large amounts of calcium in the water during their life. The use of equipment contributes to the saturation of water with calcium and carbonates. This became possible due to the fact that the reactor filler contains these elements. As a result of this process, an increase in the level of carbonate hardness of water is provided. To determine the need for using a calcium reactor, it is recommended to periodically measure the amount of carbonate hardness and calcium in salt water. If the level of carbonate hardness does not fall below 7 dKH, and the amount of calcium in the water is less than 400 mg / l, there is no need to use a calcium reactor.

Balling method

An alternative to using a calcium reactor is the balling technique. Its essence lies in the use of 3 containers, each of which is filled with solutions prepared previously. Solutions are introduced into the aquarium in turn with a certain interval (10, 20, 30 or 120 minutes) using a special dispenser. The size of each dose of the solution is determined experimentally. It depends on the number of inhabitants of the aquarium and their appetite. Using this method allows you to maintain the amount of calcium and potassium in the salt water of a saltwater aquarium within normal limits.


The aquatic organisms living in the aquarium consume quite a lot of calcium and carbonates. To replenish them, a solution of calquasser saturated with calcium hydroxide is used. Since the solution has the ability to react with oxygen, it must be kept in bags without air.


Despite the fact that the water in the aquarium is periodically replaced by 40 - 50%, it cannot remain crystal clear for a long time.This is due to the life of the living inhabitants of the reservoir: the body of the fish is covered with mucus, corals have the ability to secrete mucus, many inhabitants of the aquarium release toxic substances into the water, protecting themselves from predators. These are just some of the reasons that water, soon after its change, becomes dirty again and a layer of foam appears on its surface. If this foam is not removed in a timely manner, the water will get a terrible smell, and the inhabitants may die. For this, a special device is used - a pennik. Water enters the penic cup, which, passing through the filter, is cleaned of foam and toxins. Thus, the action of pennick helps to cleanse water of toxins, and also relieves it of a bad smell.


Since the aquarium is considered an enclosed space, toxic substances accumulate in it. The reason for this process is the accumulation of food debris at the bottom of the reservoir, the decay of organic matter. To maintain a comfortable environment in the aquarium, they must be periodically removed through the use of filters. There are many types of filters designed to purify water in a saltwater aquarium.. Among the most common types, external (canister) filters can be distinguished. Its design consists of a container with a special filler containing coal. Passing through it, the water is not only cleansed, but also disinfected. This type of equipment is located directly below the tank. The marine aquarium on the external filter will always be beautiful and with clean water.

Skimer (flora)

One of the varieties of filters. This equipment is designed to purify water in a marine aquarium from dirt, proteins and phosphates, dead algae and other living organisms. The flotator also contributes to the reactivation of the algae growth process, which also helps to maintain water in good condition.

The listed special equipment for a marine aquarium provides comfortable conditions for its inhabitants, and maintains water in good condition.

Related video: “Equipment for a marine aquarium”